1 (edited by irenea Wed, 03 Sep 2008 20:48:08)

Topic: Recent News

Dear Friends:

I wanted to share some news among my friends here in the CC world. I know none (or few) of us actually "know" each other, but this site has truly been such a source of support and strength.

I was diagnosed with CC in July of 2008. Tumor is in awful place but surgeon feels there is a good chance he can get it. I am 43 and asymptomatic.

For years I have been caregiver to my mom, who has been chronically ill with multiple medical problems but actually pretty stable. Obviously the stress of the CC has been terrible on both of us; I was scrambling to get some services and close friends in place to make sure she was cared for while I was in the hospital and then during recovery. My mom, of course, was dealing with the idea that she might outlive me, and I am not sure how any parent can even process that.

In any case. She became acutely ill 10 days ago, and required hospitalization. While in the hospital she developed pneumonia and did not respond to antibiotics, in fact the pneumonia spread and her breathing became worse and worse, and there was delirium. Finally, a nurse took me aside and told me the obvious that no one had dared tell me: she was dying. She did not have physical (or, I suspect, emotional) reserves to fight back. The next step was use of a breathing tube; her living will (and discussions with me) had made it very clear that she did not want a breathing tube or any other "heroic" measures. There was a theoretical chance of survival, but not survival in the sense that she could ever live at home again, or even necessarily breathe on her own again. She was dependent on me (and I on her, to some degree.)

I was fortunate enough to get her into Hospice, and she (and me too) was given wonderful, kind, comforting and loving care. She passed away on Sept. 1. She had not been "conscious" for about a day, but I was with her, holding her hand as she passed, and that, at least, gives me a small amount of comfort.

So here I am, grieving, broken-hearted, feeling terribly alone, and trying to make sense of this awful loss and how do I go on. This is such an unbearable and permanent absence.  I am an only child and while I have a few very very close friends, there is no "significant other."

And as a bonus, i am scheduled for radical resection in six days.

So other than needing to share my grief, I am trying to figure out: do I proceed? How can my body possibly take the awfulness of resection when i am so depleted in every way? Do I postpone? Do I even care about the surgery now? Much of my purpose was in somehow getting better and getting back home to be here for my mom -- and now my purpose is gone.

Just needed to vent a bit. I know we all have our horror stories.

Irene

Re: Recent News

Dearest Irene.....there are times when words just don't seem to be enough to express our feelings.   I am sending to you the biggest cyberhug ever with the hope of it being some comfort to you. I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom.   But, one thing more then anything I would like to emphasize- you are not alone.....you have your CC family - always.  So glad you were able to vent - this is the place to do so -. 
Thinking of you and sending my biggest hugs ever
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Recent News

Dear Irene,
My heart is breaking for you. I may not have the right words to comfort you, but I can say that I know some of what you're going through, and if you need to vent - to me, to others on this board, to your close friends, to a therapist - then please do so, and I know you'll always find a sympathetic/empathetic ear.

I can understand your feeling of hopelessness, and I know a grief like yours won't go away by tomorrow, but it's important that you keep your spirits up so you can go through the surgery and fight this thing and fight to regain your health. You're not ready to give up yet! If not for yourself, then for others in your life that you love and who love you - and for the memory of your mother.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm saying this to put you on a guilt trip - I'm just trying to give a little pep talk, though I know it probably doesn't help much. I won't try to diminish what you're feeling by saying "snap out of it" because I know too well what grief does to you. So, like I said before, maybe it would help to talk about it --- no solutions offered, no trite words, just a listening ear. Or you can write about it, as I sometimes do when I need to get something off my mind and make sense of it.

It's a horrible thing that you're going through right now and your feelings are perfectly valid - I would be screaming my head off at the injustice of it. But please consider going ahead with the surgery - you'll feel even worse about everything if you just don't do anything, I think.

I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother was truly lucky to have a wonderful daughter like you, and I'm sure she knew it.
-Joyce M

Re: Recent News

I echo Joyces and MArions words. I am so sorry for your loss. I cant imagine having to go through this at the same time as losing your mother. However, let me ask, wouldnt she want you to continue with the surgery, to fight for life? I think most mothers would. You cant feel guilty about this.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Recent News

Dear Irene, I am so very sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I believe you need to go ahead with your surgery as that is what she would want. Instead of focusing on her departure focus on what a great daughter you have been and that you were there for her to ease her way. Try to think of good memories
and know that she has not left you, she has only left the room! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Recent News

Dear Irene,
Prayers for you in this most difficult of time.  So very sorry for your loss and for the decisions facing you.  Please lean on all of us here as the needs arise to vent and release frustrations.  Wish I could write something to help ease the pains.
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: Recent News

Dear Irene,
I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's passing.  I am also very close to my mother and am also single.  I can't imagine how difficult it is to face your grief and your health problems without your strongest supporter.

Please go through with your surgery.  Your mom would want you to take any opportunity possible to regain your health and beat this cancer. 

You always have your cc community here to talk to.

God bless,
~Lisa

Re: Recent News

Irene.... My sincere condolences.  May God give you the strenght during this time of sadness.  Irene, Grief can be handled in so many different ways.  I've often thought of it and it's relationship with memories.  Is there a difference? I'll have fond memories for years, but I for some reason don't feel it's the same as initial grieving upon when someone passes.  I would go for the surgery Irene, Your a great person who, has plenty to offer those less fortunate than us. There are plenty of people less fortunate ,believe it or not.

God bless You, and May Your Mom rest in peace.
Jeff G.

God Bless,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Recent News

Dear Irene, I'm so sorry about your Mom and so glad you were with her.  You're having to bear so much right now being newly diagnosed and the loss of your Mother.  I know you are a strong person.  It comes through in your writing about your Mom.  You have strength you may not even be aware of yet.  I would also advise to go through with the surgery if you can, but only you can make that decision.  The fact that you're young and asymptomatic I think are in your favor and the fact that you're being offered resection at all, which is still the best chance for long term survival with cc is another plus.  Please keep us updated and I know you'll figure out what's best for you.

Carol

Re: Recent News

Irene,

I am so sorry to hear your sad news, life really should throw only one thing at a time at a person, it's not fair.

Not sure what to tell you about the surgery, I can understand you being depleted and thinking that is not the best condition to be in for recovery.

I also understand that this doesn't leave much room for grieving, which you need to do. Here is a poem that has comforted me:

http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/1757.html

Patty

11 (edited by Missing U Fri, 05 Sep 2008 14:58:56)

Re: Recent News

Irene, I am deeply sorry for your loss.  I too am an only child and when my Dad passed away from this illness after only been diagnosed 2 months prior, I felt like a part of me went with him.  Our lives are never the same when we lose someone we love, however, what I've tried to do was to honour my Dad with the way I was living my life and to be there for my mom as much as I can.  To try to move one step at a time and to allow myself to be still when I needed to.

I can't imagine how you may be feeling and although there are no substitutes for family, I hope you are able to draw support from the members on this board, some of whom can relate to you because they are dealing with the same illness, others such as myself who relate  from walking alongside a loved one who put up a brave fight. 

My heart goes out to you and I send you prayers that you may be surrounded by comfort and support and that when you are ready for treatment that the doctors' hands are divinely guided and can truly help you.  I hope you can find comfort in the great amount of support you provided to your dear mother, being with her up until her last minutes on this earth.  I am certain that in the way that she can, she will be with you too supporting you and loving you from that place that is only but a breath away from where we are.

Brightest Blessings,
Missing U

Re: Recent News

Dearest Irene,

I have been so exhausted I haven't even checked the site, or I wouldn't have been so remiss to tell you my heart aches for you and the loss of your dear mom.  I wish I had a fond memory to tell you about your mom, but I know you must have been her pride and joy, and she would want you to fight, Irene.  Fight, darn it, fight!!@! Let us be here for you, Irene.  Vent, scream, cry; there are some on this site who have such beautiful words to give you some peace.  Let them. 

Prayers and love to you,
Sophie

Re: Recent News

Irene,
  I am so, so sorry to hear about your Mom. Words really cannot express how sad I am for you. I have an only child myself, and I know how close we are. To have to cope with this loss, and at the same time cope with the cc is just so unfair to you! I do think, however, that your Mom would want you to go on and fight - have the resection and keep on trying. I know that is what I would want my daughter to do.

Joyce C

Re: Recent News

Irene, I was so sorry to read of your mother's passing and wish you much strength and sympathy. May you find comfort and solace to cope with this huge huge loss. I read once, that as long as we have our mothers, we are children and when we lose her, even well into adulthood, we are orphaned. I thought then and now that that's so true.   YES do go on with the scheduled resection. You feel depleted, and you are! But you are strong and young and otherwise healthy and those are factors that weigh heavily in your favor in your fight. Don't delay. It gives those nasty cc creatures time to explore and find cousins and friends.  smile Best wishes and you can do it and we're all rooting for you, Belle

Re: Recent News

Hello,

I thank you so much for your kind and incredibly comforting posts.

As an update: I did try to delay ther resection -- for a week, at least, just to give myself the smallest time to heal emotionally -- but the surgery feels like we are so close to being non-resectable now that I can't afford to wait.

So...I march forward, through the tears (and boy are there tears). Tomorrow is surgery.

I know you all send good thoughts so I don't need to ask. ANd I fully expect that my mom -- accompanied by our beloved old family cats -- will be watching over the surgery and get me through it safely.

Courage to each of us. And love.

Irene

Re: Recent News

Dear Irene,
Best of luck with the surgery - please keep us posted. I'm so sorry you're having such a tough time. I know how hard it is to go on without your mother. All the luck and love in the world is going out to you --
Joyce M.

Re: Recent News

Irene... I will be thinking of you, tomorrow.  Can't wait to hear about the successful resection.
Hugs coming your way,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Recent News

Irene....Thumbs up!  Praying for only the best.  God's speed !
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: Recent News

Tomorrow is the big day, Irene!  May God wrap his arms around you and hold you through it as well as lending that surgeon a hand.  I have some old cats up there too so maybe they are friends with yours, and our moms will be watching each of us as we go through our trials.  God Bless You! 

Prayers for you,
Sophie

Re: Recent News

Irene

I am so very glad you're going ahead with the surgery...I know it has been such a struggle to have made this decision.  But, I think it is what you need to do.  And what a time to have to do it...I just can't imagine.  My beloved father died a year ago and I miss him still so very much.  He lived a long and good life...and was so loved.  I know what a hole it leaves in your life to have just lost your mother.  And now you're facing the surgery tomorrow.  I just know you will do well...strength and hope are so powerful.

Think of getting well as your new "full time" job.  Do all of the deep breathing and coughing, get up and around early and often, eat well, take as much pain medication as you need...it will greatly help with all of the above!  Bring some familiar things...maybe your own pillow, bathrobe and PJ's.  They just make you feel better!

I wanted you to know that you have been so much in my thoughts and was so glad you let us know you were going ahead with the surgery.  Know that we will all be sending such positive thoughts of hope for your healing.

Jean

(Surgery 5/08...1st follow up CT scan Thursday!)

Re: Recent News

Irene,
You will be in my thoughts and I am off to light a candle for your successful surgery. You are strong, stronger than your circumstances. YES, bring your own pillow and pjs (and all our best thoughts and prayers) with you to the hospital. Please make sure your visitors wash their hands before visiting you to keep infections low. I will also suggest audio books because sometimes it is easier than reading or watching tv.

And please eat even when you dont feel like it because you need to get your bowels moving asap! I ended up staying about 5 days more in the hospital because I got so constipated from not eating enough and sluggish bowels. Trust me, nobody wants a suppository.

Best of luck and give us the news when you can.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

22 (edited by Darla Wed, 10 Sep 2008 08:34:19)

Re: Recent News

Irene,

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom passing. When my husband passed away, only 1 week ago, my children kept telling me that he has left us physically but will be in all of our hearts forever. I am holding on to that & so must you. Good luck today & know that your Mom is still with you in your heart to give you strength. My thoughts & prayers are with you.

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Recent News

Irene,
Thoughts and prayers are with you in having a successful surgery and recovery.  I am sure your Mom is watching over you.
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: Recent News

Irene, I pray that your surgeons are successful in removing you cancer and that you recover quickly.  I pray that people come into your life that will help you through this difficult time  My heart breaks for you. There is a wonderful book I just picked up called "Anti-cancer A new way of Life"  I think it's worth reading.

Re: Recent News

Hi everyone:

Just to let you all know surgery was a no go. Surgeon found my liver was not viable (fatty and also greatly excessive bleeding) so things were stopped. Do not think I will accept chemo or any treatment at all at this point.   
Irene